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A Ranger's Diary of Tet, Khe Sanh, A Shau, and Quang Tri

Robert C. Ankony

Lurps is the memoir of a juvenile delinquent who drops out of ninth grade to pursue a dream of military service. While a paratrooper in Europe, he volunteers for Vietnam where he joins the elite U.S. Army LRRP / Rangers-small, heavily armed long-range reconnaissance teams that patrolled deep in enemy-held territory. Set in 1968, during some of the war's major campaigns and battles including Tet, Khe Sanh, and A Shau Valley, Lurps considers war through the eyes of a green young warrior. The compelling narrative and realistic dialogue engrosses the reader in both the horror and the humor of life in Vietnam and reflects upon the broader philosophical issue of war.

This poignant, auto-biographical, coming-of-age story explores the social background that shaped the protagonist's thinking; his quest for redemption through increased responsibility; the brotherhood of comrades in arms; women and his sexual awakening; and the mysterious, baffling randomness of who lives and who dies.
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University Press of America
Pages: 306Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7618-3281-2 • Paperback • March 2006 • $49.99 • (£32.95)
Robert C. Ankony served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1968. He was honored with a Bronze Star Medal, an Air Medal, and a Combat Infantry Badge for his military service. He was a Detective / Sergeant in Detroit's Wayne County Sheriff Department before his retirement in 1984. Presently, he is the Director of CFM Research. Dr. Ankony received his Ph.D. in Criminology, M.A. in Sociology, and M.S. in Criminal Justice from Wayne State University; and a Master of Correctional Sciences from the University of Detroit. He has published multiple journal articles on military history and criminal justice. Lurps is his first book.
1 Preface
2 Acknowledgements
3 Maps
4 1. Childhood
5 2. Basic Combat Training
6 3. Advanced Individual Training
7 4. Airborne School
8 5. Rigger School
9 6. A Decision
10 7. Vietnam
11 8. First Cavalry Division
12 9. Transfer to LRRPs
13 10. LZ English
14 11. Move North
15 12. Tet
16 13. First Patrol
17 14. Learning the Ropes
18 15. Contact
19 16. Luck
20 17. Khe Sanh
21 18. A Shau
22 19. Recondo School
23 20. Hong Kong
24 21. Patrols as Team Leader
25 22. Patrolling On
26 23. Twenty-second and Last Patrol
27 24. Going Home
28 Author's Note
29 Appendix A: Standing Orders, Rogers' Rangers
30 Appendix B: American Casualties in Vietnam
31 Glossary
32 Bibliography
33 Index
Dr. Robert C. Ankony has written a fascinating, highly readable memoir of his distinguished military career. Following him from the decision to join the Army at 17 through the difficult task of becoming a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, we experience some of the most significant battles of the Vietnam War... By giving the work a sense of immediacy that many autobiographies lack, this approach allows the reader to live the experiences as Ankony remembers them. But the book is more than a combat diary; it also contains frank discussions, from a soldier's perspective, about the turbulent political and social aspects of war. These elements combine to make the book a unique addition to the growing field of Vietnam literature... The book is not, however, about his [Ankony's] own heroism so much as what his service meant, as well as a tribute to those men who helped make him who he is. A pleasure to read, Lurps is among the best war diaries available.
Jason Foster; Vietnam

From a blue-collar neighborhood in southwest Detroit to the badlands of northern I Corps, Ankony's memoir is a vivid and unusually honest tale of one man's journey to war in South Vietnam and back…From his remarkable eyewitness account of the North Vietnamese attack on Quang Tri City during the 1968 Tet Offensive to his description of the equipment and skills a soldier in Vietnam needed to survive, [Ankony] has given us a highly readable tale that is sure to entertain and inform anyone who has an interest in the war.
Dr. Erik B. Villard, U.S. Army Center of Military History, Washington, D.C.